Home > Tegan's Magic (The Ultimate Power #3)(12)

Tegan's Magic (The Ultimate Power #3)(12)
Author: L.H. Cosway

“We will.” I agree.

A silence ensues, the movie forgotten. I know I came in here to talk to Finn about my feelings, but I’m too nervous to broach the subject. He’s staring at me now, frowning slightly. He reaches out and touches the small bruises on my throat, like he did back in the church.

“I suppose I kind of have put my mark on you. I hate that I put these here,” he says, his voice low. Both of his thumbs brush back and forth over the sensitive skin.

“They’ll heal, and you don’t need to hate it. You weren’t yourself.”

Finn sucks in a breath and lets one hand slide down over my shoulder, skin touching skin since I’m only wearing a vest top.

“I liked it when you stuck up for me before,” he whispers, eyes focusing intently on the dip of my collarbone. I’m watching where his gaze travels, as though he’s actually touching me with his eyes.

“Ethan is making my life miserable these days, and in a way I deserve it. I won’t let him put you down though, because all you’ve ever done is try to help people. You keep vampires from killing innocents. Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re a little crazy to invest in such a dangerous vocation, but I admire your conviction nonetheless.”

He smiles at me, his whole face lighting up. “I never thought you regarded me so highly, Petal.”

I swallow and lick my lips. His eyes lock in on the movement. “I didn’t before, but now I know you better.”

He leans up on one elbow so that he’s hovering over me. “That’s good to know,” he replies in a husky voice as his lips slowly descend on mine. He kisses me lightly, questioningly, and my whole body gets hotter. I move my lips softly against his and open my mouth a little for him to deepen the kiss. He takes the opportunity and dips his tongue in. The sensation causes a low moan to erupt from my throat and Finn kisses me more urgently.

The two of us drift into this frenzy that’s all tongues and lips and pressing fingers. His desire for me is so different from Ethan’s, who shows intense, focused appreciation when making love. Finn’s kissing is almost vicious in its urgency and it makes my head go fuzzy, makes my legs fall open so that he can fit himself between them. Makes me grab his t-shirt and practically tear it over his head. Makes me break our kiss so that I can dip my mouth to his neck to suck on it. He groans and pushes himself hard into me. His hands fumble at my pants, yanking them down.

He stops for a second, his chest rising and falling with ragged breaths. “You want this, right?” he asks, eyes on my bared hips. “You’re not just doing this to get back at him for being a dickhead, are you?”

I know exactly who he means by him. I take a second to think about it. No, payback has nothing to do with this. I’ve been attracted to Finn since day one, only now I’ve grown an affection for him too. Loving Ethan is frightening and hard. In this moment I can see how loving Finn would be so effortless.

“No, I would never…” I trail off when he pulls away a little.

“Why did you hesitate?”

“I didn’t. Not really. I was just thinking about how I feel about you.”

“How do you feel about me?” he questions, a strange sort of vulnerability in his voice.

I let out a small laugh. “You make me feel itchy…with this need. I think you’re one of the sexiest men I’ve ever met.”

Finn raises an eyebrow and smirks, but it’s a warm smirk. “Does that include vampires?”

His question is meant to be light-hearted, but it makes my stomach drop. I have to be honest with him. “I slept with Ethan once,” I blurt out, instead of answering his question.

“Only once?” He sounds like he expected it to be more. All the same, I can feel him withdrawing from me, a certain coldness creeping in. I don’t want him to withdraw.

“Yes, just once. It was obviously a mistake. I mean, look at how he treats me now.”

“So you are only doing this with me because he’s not looking to get into your pants anymore.” He pulls away from me further.

I give him a soft whack on the shoulder. “No! That’s not it at all. Despite what you might think, I’m not very experienced with men. I’ve had a few boyfriends, but none lasted longer than a couple months. When Ethan began showing an interest in me it felt amazing to have somebody so magnetic wanting me. I can see now that it was that feeling of being wanted that made me think I wanted him back. And I do – did…Oh God, this isn’t coming out right at all.” I run my fingers through my hair.

Finn grabs my hand, holding it inside his own. “Just tell me how you feel now. Whatever you might have felt in the past doesn’t matter.”

I meet his gaze. “I feel like there’s something growing between the two of us here, and I just want to explore what it might be.”

“Okay, I can do that,” Finn replies after a brief pause. He brings my palm to his lips and kisses it, flicking his tongue out a little and I gasp. “You’re so f**king beautiful, honey. You’ve got skin I just want to put my hands all over. But as you said, there’s something growing between us and I don’t want to rush it. Let’s just take it easy for now. You’ve still got Marcel’s lust potion in you and I want to be sure that you letting me kiss you isn’t just somehow connected to that.”

I smile and lean into him, resting my head in the crook of his neck. “I didn’t think you had such a romantic streak,” I grin.

His thumb brushes against my hip and he pulls me into a hug. “Wait and see, Petal. I’m just full of surprises.”

The way he says it makes me clench my thighs together. Finn rewinds the movie back to where we left off and we snuggle up to watch it.

Chapter Six

Everyday I Love You Less and Less

The next morning I wake up surrounded by Finn, and not for the first time. Only now after our little heart to heart last night I’m in far more danger of giving in to my hormones. Finn’s still sleeping, so I force myself to get out of bed and go to my own room.

Later on he doesn’t question why I left. We eat a quick breakfast with Ira and then the two of them leave me at the house to head off to report to Pamphrock, who has apparently set his slayers to work on making massive amounts of Rita’s chaos killing spray. Although instead of using crappy plastic spray bottles, they’re putting it into modified fire extinguishers. Now why didn’t we think of that?

Rita and I resume our studies in her RV, both searching for information on Rebecca’s spell and saving my dad. It’s when I come across the book from yesterday, the one about other dimensions and their inhabitants, that I stop and think.

I go to the page at the front with the publishing info. The date reads 1993. That was only two decades ago. Perhaps this E.J. Edwards guy is still alive? I could find him and question him about how he knows all this stuff. Has he been to another dimension? And more importantly, has he ever been to the hell dimension where my dad is currently suffering?

There’s a hard knock on the door of the RV that startles me out of my thoughts. I shoot Rita a questioning glance.

“That’ll be my new client. I told him to come over today.”

“Oh, you’re taking clients again?”

“Yep. I haven’t met this guy before, but a regular of mine referred him. Apparently he wants me to cast a spell that’ll boost his self-confidence and help him to move up the ladder at work.” She rolls her eyes, pushing aside the stack of books she’d been looking through, and gets up to answer the door.

She opens it to reveal a tall, brown haired man wearing trendy black glasses and an immaculate white shirt.

“Hey, Damien isn’t it? Come on in.” She stands aside and the guy steps into the RV. She’s eyeing him in a strange way, like she’s either suspicious of him or she’s up to something. Or both. He’s so tall that the top of his head is skimming the ceiling.

“I have something I need to do,” I tell her. “Do you mind if I borrow this book for a while? I’ll return it later on.”

“Sure, have at it,” she replies, waving me off, and I leave her to her session with tall Damien.

I go into Finn’s living room, borrowing his laptop. I skim down the front page of On Other Dimensions and Their Inhabitants again. When I type the publishing house into an online search engine I discover that it’s actually some kind of offshoot of the Oxford University Press. Then I type in the name E.J. Edwards and the guy I’m looking for pops up as the first result.

He’s a professor of Physics at Oxford. When I look at his profile there’s a picture of a little grey haired man of about seventy, but his bio is pretty normal for a professor. In other words, there’s nothing at all that would lead you to believe he had an interest in the supernatural, or that he once wrote a book about other dimensions.

I do a little more digging to find the phone number for the Department of Physics at Oxford, and look up the international code for the UK before calling it up. I get through to a very chirpy receptionist, who informs me that Professor Edwards is currently on a year long sabbatical, but if I’d like to leave a message she’d be happy to pass it on to him.

“Um, would it be possible to get another number where I can reach him? It’s sort of a private matter that I need to discuss.” This lady would probably think I was pranking her if I tried telling her why I want to talk to Edwards.

“I can’t give out his personal contact information, I’m afraid,” she tells me. “However, I can give you his university email. I know he checks his messages there at least once a week.”

“Oh. Okay, yeah I’ll take his email then.”

I scribble it down and we say our polite goodbyes. Then I open up a new document and try to form a coherent explanation as to why I’m writing to him. The words jumble around in my head, but then when I start typing it all spills out. I tell him how I recently came across his book, and in as simple terms as I can muster I explain my predicament. The worst that could happen would be for him to disregard the email or send me a message back telling me I’m a nut.

I copy and paste the message into an email and hit send. All I can do now is wait and see what happens. I shut down Finn’s laptop and pick up the book to bring it back out to Rita. She’s still busy with Damien, but she says I can come in and watch if I’d like. Damien nods, saying he’s okay with it, so I decide I might as well stay and see what goes on in these sessions of Rita’s.

She’s currently sitting at the small table across from Damien, muttering in Latin and mashing up a bunch of herbs with a pestle and mortar.

“So, how do you two know each other?” Damien asks.

If I’m not mistaken, there’s a little bit of a tremble in his voice. It’s like he’s nervous to be here with us, or maybe he’s just wary of Rita’s strange mutterings and herb crushing.

“Shush,” Rita scolds him for talking.

“Don’t you need another two people for the spell?” I ask, ignoring her ministrations.

“No, not for this spell. I’m getting better and it’s very basic. And I said shush!”

After another couple minutes of her quiet mutterings, she scoops up a spoonful of the herbs and hands it to Damien, telling him to eat up. He looks at her with wide, mistrustful eyes. In the end he takes the spoon and shoves it into his mouth. His jaw works as he chews and by the look on his face I’d say it tastes bitter. He swallows and Rita makes him open his mouth to ensure that he ate all of it.

“Now what?” he asks her.

“Now,” Rita begins, clasping her hands together, “you tell me why you’re really here.”

Damien’s eyes flick between me and Rita. “I – I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Rita scoffs. “Don’t give me that. You’ve been on edge ever since you arrived and every time I ask you a question your eyes flick to the left. Classic behaviour of someone who’s lying. Now come on, spit it out. What are you up to? And more importantly, who are you working for?”

I sit and watch the exchange with rapt attention. I had an inkling there was something off about Damien, but I mostly put it down to him being nervous. It’s a good thing Rita saw right through him.

“Look, I promise I’m just here for the spell. You came highly recommended from my friend Greg.” He reaches up and scratches at his neck.

“I do a lot of spells for Greg and he’s never sent me a referral before. He’s also one of the shiftiest guys I know, so it doesn’t take much of a stretch to see him accepting a bribe to give you an in with me.” Rita states all of this in a cold, detached voice, and I get a brief glimpse of the witch she could have been if she had of been raised by Theodore instead of Noreen.

“You have to believe me,” Damien spreads out his hands, in a gesture that’s kind of pleading. “I’m not up to anything.”

Rita laughs. “Deny it all you want. In a couple of minutes you’ll be telling me everything.”

He eyes her now. “What do you mean?”

“You just ate the components of a truth spell, my friend. You’ll probably be telling us what brand of underwear you like and who you lost your virginity to by the time it takes hold.”

At this Damien jumps up from his seat and makes a run for the door. Rita stands up and casually places her tiny self in his path, holding up a hand and muttering a quiet incantation. Damien stops in his tracks as though glued to the spot.

Sweat breaks out on his forehead as he struggles to move forward but can’t.

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